We see that many people are without confidence in life. They are like Hamlet in the drama of Shakespeare, “To be or not to be”. If you ask them about some thing, they say, “I don’t know”. They are not sure what they are living for or what their plans are in life. Such people achieve nothing and will be in frustration and unhappiness. This is much true about their spiritual life. Many do not know what they believe or why they believe if they do believe in some thing. The worst thing is that they have no idea about what happens after this life. The basic trouble with them is that they do not have faith in God. They are materialistic, self centered, self-abusive and self-indulgent that does not help them in spiritually.
Such people who have no interest in religion have an excuse to give. Religion is part of culture and culture should not be imposed upon, but to be chosen by every individual according to every one’s tastes and convenience. So they do not try to inculcate spiritual habits in their children. But the funny part of it is that they force their children what to eat, what to wear or what to read, etc. They introduce them to TV shows and comic books according to their own tastes even in their early age so that when they grow up. they follow this life style. But when it comes to religion and morality and good manners, such children fumble. The tragic result of this is that they do not have confidence to face problems in life because they do not have spiritual basis and strength to encounter them. They are only trained to have fun and to enjoy, enjoy and enjoy. The movies they watch and novels they read show how their character is being developed. They have no interest and time for spiritual matters. As they are rich and well provided materially, they feel no need for such things. They may attend religious programs for the name sake, social status or for obtaining official positions and not because of the inner urge for God. They are too busy and tired for such things because of their so called pastimes. That is why in the modern society, influenced by the western culture, violence, suicide, divorce and diseases are rampant.
But the only way to have joy and success in life is to have self confidence that comes from the trust in the promises of God. Jesus promised, “These things I have spoken to you that in me you might have peace. In this world you shall have tribulations, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) When Jesus was about to depart from the world after His earthly life, he promised his constant presence with his disciples. “Lo, I am with you always, even till the end of the world.”(Mathew 28:20) These promises assure us the presence of God. The assurance that Jesus is with us gives us confidence to face difficulties and to take up new responsibilities in life with His help. Apostle Paul had this confidence. He said, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) This was the realization that he was unable to be successful in his ministry only of his own and so needed the help of God. The awareness of one’s limitations and the need for the help of God is the key to the success of any one’s life. This confidence helps us in all our efforts to tide over our problems in life like sickness, disappointments, failures and such. It helps us to “sing in our trials”. We can also say with Paul, ‘I can do all things in him who strengthens me”.
The Psalmist said that God was his “rock and strength”. Prophet Isaiah says that “those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength”. The crux of the matter is that we should accept our inability and weakness and submit ourselves to the all powerful God who is gracious to help us in our needs. The Psalmist asks us “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, he will act.” “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in our trouble.”
The beauty of the Christian life is that even in troubles and in sorrows the presence of our Lord helps us to bear them with a smiling face because “HE REMAINS” with out change. This is the Confidence that we get from Jesus. So let us not falter but be firm in our faith, committing ourselves to Him by remembering His promise, “Lo I am with you always”
“When from life the old-time joys have vanished,
Treasures once mine; I may no longer claim,
This truth may feed my hungry heart, and famished:
Lord, THOU REMAINEST! THOU art still the same!
When streams have dried, those streams of glad refreshing-
Friendship so blest, so rich, so free,
When sun-kissed skies give place to clouds depressing,
Lord, THOU REMAINEST! Still my heart hath THEE.
When strength has failed, and feet, now worn and weary,
On gladness errands may no longer go,
Why should I sigh, or let the days be dreary?
Lord, THOU REMAINEST! Could’st Thou more bestow?
Thus through life’s days – whoe’er or what may; fail me,
Friends, friendships, joys, in small or great degree,
Songs may be mine; no sadness need assail me,
Lord, THOU REMAINEST! Still my heart hath THEE.”
– J. Danish Smith
The confidence in Jesus gives us ‘comfort’ in Him. Apostle Paul thanks “God of all comfort who comforts us in all our afflictions” (2Corinthians 1:3, 4). When we get comfort, we will be able to comfort others who are in afflictions. Paul continues, “Who comforts us in our entire affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted.” (Vs 4) So our confidence in Jesus is not only helpful to us alone, but it helps us to help others as well. The faith in Jesus helps us even in life’s toughest circumstances to enjoy with His help.
“I have been through the valley of weeping,
The valley of sorrow and pain,
But the God of all comfort was with me,
At hand to uphold and sustain”
This is especially true in our endeavor for the life to come. A person starts his/her Christian life by believing in Christ. But this good beginning is not enough. A life well begun must have a happy ending. Jesus ended His life by saying, “Father, in to your hand I command my spirit”. (Luke 23:46) Jesus was confident that He was going to His Father. A believer is motivated by this hope of going to the Heavenly Father after this life on the earth. Paul compares life to a race. It has a beginning, a course and a finishing point. To be successful in this race, he suggests that one should ‘look at Jesus the author and finisher of our faith’. We should be focused and be steady in this eternal race. The on looking Christ cheers us so that we may have confidence and do not stray away from the course. Finally we reach the finishing line of our race where our entire afflictions end. “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17)
The proof of a confident life in Jesus is the readiness in meeting our Savior after this life. Then we can say with Paul, “I have fought a good fight, run the race and now the crown of life waits for us”. This is the reward of a confident life in Jesus. To have this confidence, the basic factor is accepting the Salvation provided by Jesus on the Cross by His death, without which all other achievements in life are like a mere mirage in the desert. So let us hold fast on the life giving Truth of Jesus and His provision for the Eternal life that the present generation and its culture belittle. But”How can we escape if we neglect such a great Salvation” Let us not miss “the last bus” to ETERNITY.
– Cherian Kurian